Author: Madison Terrill

What assets do I need to promote my indie game?

As you plan a launch campaign for your game, certain marketing materials–or assets–are common within the marketing and PR space for a successful launch. Journalists use these assets to populate features and reviews, and consumers look to them for further insight into your title before purchasing. These assets bolster your game and your brand’s media presence, maximizing your coverage potential with simple steps.

Create a Media Kit

A term to familiarize yourself with is media kit. All studio websites will feature this media kit–sometimes called a press kit–for journalists and content creators to reference when publishing materials related to your project. A media kit is a collection of videos, images, and written descriptions that best represent your game; among these assets may be in-game screenshots, trailers, concept art, and a one-page summary of your game and studio. A media kit is crucial for coverage. Journalists and other creators rely on developers to provide additional content for their posts; banner images at the top of an article, for example, come from a media kit. Games have a significantly higher chance of earning coverage if they include a trailer with their asset materials, so creating a solid trailer is paramount. Press kits are commonly found on a studio’s website; when running a PR campaign for your game, these assets are attached to press releases, offering journalists all of the materials they need in one place to cover your game. 

Optimize Your Store Pages

While your media kit gives creators a snapshot of your game, your store pages offer more detailed insight into your project. Whether on PC marketplaces (Steam,, Epic), mobile stores (iOS and Android), or console shops (Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation), your landing page should be concise and highlight the most important aspects of your game. We’ve already covered the essentials to nailing your Steam page, but here are the basics:

  • Select simple capsule art to draw a viewer’s attention without overwhelming them; if your game has multiple characters, select one to showcase in your key art. Keeping text to a minimum means more focus on the art and the title, which should be legible from Steam’s search bar. Rotating these capsule images also secures new clicks from those who didn’t resonate with the previous key image.
  • Swap screenshots for GIFs to draw attention to the details of your game.
  • When summarizing your game, match your language with the game’s tone. A horror title should leave viewers feeling curious and uneasy, while a roguelike should reflect the high-octane pace of the genre.


While each platform has its format for these store pages, the bare bones remain the same. Nail your tone, include engaging art, and keep text to a minimum. If wishlist or download numbers are low, try changing your art and revising your language until you find a combination that lands with consumers.

Build Your Brand

Social media pages are another great asset for supporting your game. Whether these pages are dedicated to your game or the studio itself, keeping them populated with development updates and notes for the community will expand your reach. Twitter is the most popular platform for game developers, consumers, and journalists, and it’s relatively easy to maintain compared to other platforms. Interacting with other independent artists and game journalists is also a great networking opportunity and puts you on the industry’s radar. Beyond social media, keeping an updated website lets you store all of your assets–media kit, page links, social media handles–in one place. Press kits warrant their own tab, while the landing page briefly summarizes your game, your best assets, and storefront links. An “About” tab is also beneficial, giving visitors insight into your studio, inspiration, and previous experience. 

Ensuring you have assets for your game is a relatively straightforward task with great benefits. Having a great trailer that draws the attention of a prominent news site or concept art that inspires an interview with the artist positively impacts your game’s reach and strengthens your brand’s professional reputation. No two asset folders are the same, and deciding which tone, images, and footage best represents your game can be difficult when you’ve spent so much time on a project. If you need a fresh set of eyes, message us, and we’ll be happy to take your launch campaign to the next level.


How to Write a Press Release

A press release is a written document made to inform your reader–typically the press–of upcoming news. This may take the form of a brand or product announcement, a major milestone for your project, or inclusion in a festival or event. Press releases may seem archaic in a space where social media reigns supreme; however, those timely posts often begin with a press release. Nailing your press release determines feature coverage opportunities–and an uptick in business–so it’s vital to understand the mechanics of a press release for the highest chance of success. Most industries deliver news via press releases–especially the games industry–and here’s how it’s done.

Create a Captivating Headline

Your headline sets the tone for your press release; it appears as the first bit of information in a journalist’s inbox. Grabbing their attention with a captivating headline is often the difference between whether or not you secure coverage. 

As you draft your headline, keep the following questions in mind:

  1. What is the most engaging aspect of my announcement?
  2. What impression should my reader get, and what tone will accomplish that?
  3. What is the appropriate length for this headline?


We’ll break these down individually. First, consider the actual content of your announcement: what makes it newsworthy? If unveiling an exciting partnership or acquisition, begin your headline with a well-known brand or group to attract reader attention. If you collaborate with a well-known IP on a project, that should be the forefront of your headline; for example, “Play as ‘Sailor Moon’ in Upcoming Action RPG.” A headline mentioning the Sailor Moon franchise grabs media attention, enticing them to read more.

You don’t need a flashy IP to guarantee press coverage; any story is engaging if appropriately presented. Your language should be succinct, punchy, and reflect the tone of the announcement; within video game PR, this means matching your language to your game’s genre. A first-person shooter evokes language such as “adrenaline-pumping, high-stakes,” and “tactical,” while a farming simulator feels “cozy,” “casual,” and “addictive.” Use target words often associated with the genre–action RPG or cozy idle game–to give your reader a feel for the tone. Ideally, your target list will include media contacts interested in your project’s platform and genre; a mobile reviewer will be stoked to see a new “Tamagotchi-inspired idle RPG” in their inbox!

If you find yourself struggling with your headline, save it for last. Drafting the press release gives you a solid idea of your tone, message, and key points, and those can be incorporated into your headline as a final step.

Nail the Mechanics

Like most genres of business writing, press releases follow a specific template. This streamlined format guides your writing process and standardizes the material journalists wade through daily. Below are the six essential parts of a press release and a brief detail of their function.

  1. The headline, as discussed, is the title of your press release. Averaging ten words or less, this is the first part of a pitch that your media contacts will see. 
  2. The subtitle follows the headline, offering more details about the story you’re introducing. The subtitle may include the title, developer/publisher information, important dates, or key figures. Numbers fare exceptionally well in subheadings, as they offer bitesize performance indications. 
  3. The dateline references the date your press release is distributed and from where. The city and country should always reflect the physical location of the project, not the writer. So, a New York-based PR writer distributing information about a game developer in Munich, Germany, will cite Munich in their dateline. 
  4. The body of your press release is a detailed explanation of your announcement. The body addresses the “five Ws” (who, what, when, where, and why) and often includes a quote or testimonial supporting your project. The body of your press release ranges from 300-500 words, averaging 3-4 brief paragraphs. 
  5. The boilerplate is often referenced as a press release’s “About Us” section. As with the dateline, the boilerplate reflects the company on whose behalf you’re writing the press release, not the author’s bio. The boilerplate is one paragraph and addresses an organization’s founding, purpose, executives, and social links. 
  6. The end of a press release should always be identified with End, as it separates the text from any assets that may be attached to the email. Additionally, this allows further text to be attached to the end of your press release with your consultation.


Keep it Short and Sweet

A common mistake when drafting press releases is repeating information. This happens most often between the headline, subtitle, and first sentence of the body. As you write, focus on moving the press release forward with a few considerations:

    • Introduce your topic
    • Offer relevant context
    • Anticipate common questions and address them, include quotes, links, or statistics
    • End the document with contact information for further inquiries


There is no guarantee that a press release will match your coverage expectations. The media landscape is constantly evolving, and what is trending one day can be brushed over the next. Regardless of when and how it’s distributed, writing a solid press release significantly increases your media exposure and sets you on a path toward success. A consistent media presence brings your news directly to a journalist’s desk. Press releases follow a formulaic template, and becoming literate in press release writing makes you a massive asset to your company and your project. If you need help throughout the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!

PR vs. Marketing: Where do I start?

PR and marketing are often mentioned alongside one another; Google searches boast “PR and marketing strategy” or “What is the difference between PR and marketing?” These questions are essential, particularly in the indie development space. Studios distribute resources carefully and identify opportunities that provide the best payoff for investment. When approaching your project’s PR and marketing strategy, the two should not be mutually exclusive. In truth, each has benefits and shortcomings; combined, however, they address each other’s weaknesses, and a successful launch strategy knows where and how to use both. 

Public Relations

Public relations (PR), particularly within the gaming industry, is a proven way to get exposure for your project. Beyond increasing visibility, the effects of a successful PR campaign can positively impact your brand, as well. PR addresses a brand’s reputation, investor profile, and media relationships; it casts a wide net with techniques such as press releases, target outreach, and media placement. A successful PR strategy brings in earned coverage from target outlets through both personal outreach and mass distribution. Examples of PR coverage include:

  • Press release publication on target outlets, whether through personal pitching or press wire distribution
  • Requests for quotes or an interview to include in a published article
  • If presenting a product, request for a sample or trial to review in a future publication
  • Attending public or private events to raise awareness of your brand
  • Crafting a public relations campaign using recognizable imagery and catchy slogans to permeate the market

Public relations place your brand at the forefront of media, often without the prerequisite of paying for sponsored content. Beyond getting your brand known, PR increases your brand’s reputation and consumer trust, as the promise of earned media implies unbiased coverage. While the macro-implications of PR benefit your brand as a whole, the broad nature of its outreach is time-consuming and might not be practical against smaller target audiences. Within the video game industry, for example, finding a news outlet for people who enjoy multiplayer party games might be difficult, considering the specificity of the demographic. While an article on a general games outlet will increase sales, a sponsorship with a content creator whose audiences engage in party games will ensure more interest. Social media marketing should be paired with PR for complete exposure when planning your game’s launch campaign. 

Social Media Marketing

Digital marketing secures sponsorships and product placements with a budget. While PR uses resources that cast a broad reach to maximize earned coverage, social media marketing identifies specific target groups to propose a paid opportunity. In an increasingly digital age, examples of social media marketing pepper our news feeds. Within the video games industry, the following are examples of social media marketing:

  • Sponsored banner or advertisement on a website’s homepage
  • Paid inclusion in a listicle (ex. game night recommendations)
  • Paid influencer collaboration
  • Paid advertisements on social media platforms

The process of social media marketing includes creating ad content, publishing your ad on target outlets, and arranging sponsored content with industry creators. While neither method is foolproof for ensuring coverage, the promise of a sponsorship entices more content creators–particularly with larger platforms–versus the earned nature of PR.

So, which one?

The question shouldn’t be PR or marketing; a combination of PR and marketing is the most effective way to earn exposure for your game. While PR has the highest chance of reaching the greatest number of people, social media marketing ensures your project will be seen by the demographic you’ve designed it for. Therefore, in planning a launch strategy for your indie title or brand campaign for your studio, PR and marketing should be viewed as two halves of the media whole. Marketing is targeted, and outreach and organization often take less time than identifying and following up with journalists and creators for coverage. Managing your marketing budget and organizing sponsorships may fit your schedule, but PR is often a heftier task; organizing a PR campaign, investing in distribution resources and databases, drafting pitches, and managing coverage opportunities is usually handed off to a PR agency. If you’re thinking of a launch strategy and don’t know where to start, Starfall PR is happy to outline a proposal with PR and marketing opportunities. Wherever you’re at, we’ll meet you there.

How to Increase Steam Traffic and Visibility

It’s all in the details.

On average, games require 6,000 wishlists to appear on Steam’s “Popular Upcoming” list. A spotlight on the homepage can significantly increase wishlist numbers, demo downloads, and sales, but how can you reach this 6,000 wishlist target? Before considering any paid opportunities, there are a few preliminary steps to boost your Steam page’s numbers.

Optimize Your Steam Page

Before anything else, review your Steam page and optimize its content for peak visibility. If your page’s impressions and wishlist conversions are low, then it’s time for a change. Optimizing your Steam page doesn’t mean an overhaul; instead, focus on minor details and track whether they increase traffic effectively. If your page has gameplay images, consider replacing them with gifs to draw attention. This will encourage visitors to learn more through your game’s description and showcase your gameplay graphics more robustly.

Similarly, design a few different capsule images and rotate through them bi-weekly; this will entice players who may have seen your game before but didn’t resonate with the previous capsule image. Beyond graphic designs, your language should appropriately reflect your game’s tone. Don’t take a formal approach; keep your style lighthearted and endearing if your game is a cozy farming sim. Use line breaks to create tension and sharp imagery for a horror title. Allow players to experience your game through your Steam page and entice them to purchase! If you’re looking for a fresh set of eyes on your page, we’re happy to help.

Host a Giveaway

Although they don’t boast the highest conversion rates, hosting giveaways significantly increases traction on your Steam page and wishlist numbers. Opting for a giveaway is a safe bet if you’re in a pinch to hit 6,000 before your upcoming release. Hosting a giveaway on your Twitter or Discord grants you control over submissions and the selection process while increasing your Discord or Twitter community. Prizes don’t have to break the bank. These may include exclusive wallpapers or avatars inspired by your game, an early access build, a defining role on Discord, or a stream with the developers. If you want something bigger, tech gadgets (televisions, gaming consoles, etc.) and Steam gift cards make popular prizes. To win, players must follow your socials, like/retweet content, wishlist your game, and refer a friend. For a more hands-off approach, sites like will host giveaways created on their platform; has a significant following, so receiving entries is a guarantee. Just sit back and watch the wishlists roll in!

Send Press Kits

To pitch your game for coverage, all journalists require a press kit with screenshots, banners, trailers, and other available materials ready for publication. Preparing a press kit is valuable for several reasons; beyond its requirement by journalists, it also prepares content for your social media and marketing materials for other outlets that choose to pick up your game. It’s an opportunity to showcase your game’s artwork, catchy title, or gripping trailer and drive traffic to your Steam page for further information. Digital press kits have become the standard; however, consider the benefit of physical press kits. If you’re planning an influencer campaign or would like the attention of a large media outlet, sending a physical press kit differentiates you from the hundreds of emails they receive daily. A physical package includes custom merchandise, keys, and small props that can be featured on stream or as a desk accessory. Physical press kits are a pricier option. However, if you’re looking for the notice of high-profile streamers and journalists to encourage traffic to your Steam page, they are a worthwhile investment.

Participate in Steam Events

Throughout the year, Steam frequently hosts sales for currently published games and spotlights newly released demos. Steam Next Fest, occurring three times a year, boasts the opportunity to highlight your game and drive wishlist numbers. During Steam Next Fest, a game demo must be available, and your Steam page should be updated with the latest graphics and gameplay details. Streams are also encouraged during Steam Next Fest, so setting aside time to stream–or pre-recording gameplay to put on loop that week–will get more eyes on your game. When selecting one of the three dates to participate in, select the Steam Next Fest closest to your game’s release; recent wishlists are more likely to convert to sales! To garner attention for your demo during Next Fest, draft and distribute a press release announcing your participation; many outlets spotlight their favorite games during the festival, and a press release is a great way to draw attention. They can be challenging to draft with little experience–and difficult to distribute without the proper contacts and software–so let us know when you need your next press release!

Generating wishlists cannot be reduced to a science, and there are no guarantees these approaches will work best for you. However, investing time into your Steam page, staying consistent on social media, and pushing the message out about your release are positive business practices. Send us a message for a more tailored approach to increasing interest in your game, and we’ll find what’s right for you!


Indie Enthusiast? Here’s How You Can Support Your Favorite Games

We’re all familiar with an indie title that seemed to reach record success overnight; alongside the latest AAA releases, a game from a previously unknown developer or studio skyrockets to the top of Steam and console sales. Whether you have been following an indie game’s development from the beginning or your investment started with its download bar, seeing a small studio reach this kind of success is refreshing in an industry dominated by AAAs. 

Indie developers aren’t provided with an exact formula to ensure this level of popularity; most of the time, it just happens. When a game is released, however, it is only as strong as the fans that support the hours of work that went into it. A game reaches the top of the charts when fans buy into the concept and champion the game wholeheartedly. Thousands of indie games deserve this attention, and as a fan, you can make that happen. There are many ways you can support your favorite indie games–beyond purchasing a title on launch day–that can help bring a them into mainstream conversation. 

Take To Social Media

Without a large marketing budget and high-profile contacts, many indie developers and studios take to social media to celebrate their game’s progress–notably on X, TikTok, or Reddit. Whether or not a post gains traction is up to users who share, repost, and upvote. If you want to support an indie game or studio further, follow their social media accounts and share progress as they post about it. This connects you with others who are as invested in the game as you are, but it also grants free exposure to titles needing a larger following.

Become a Day One Fan

If you discover a game in its nascent stages of development–whether on social media or while browsing online storefronts–showing support from its inception can have preferential benefits for you and the developers. As mentioned above, showing support on social media helps generate buzz around a title’s release. Beyond that, however, supporting a game in its early development stages might offer you early access to it. If the studio or game has a Discord server, they may schedule playtests with community members to gain valuable feedback for future updates. Not only can you support the progress of the game, but you can be part of its development!

Shop Smart

Indie games are available on various platforms; developers may publish them on Steam and console storefronts or upload them to sites like, which encourages indie game discovery. Though not a significant difference, offers developers a higher profit per game sold than Steam and other console stores. If you’d like to see more games from a studio or developer, ensuring they have financial means is a great way to support them. Additionally, a game may rely on a Kickstarter for funding; if you can donate, your contribution can go a long way. 

Beyond purchasing a game, leaving a review is one of the most important ways to support a game you love. Reviews push games higher in popularity, notoriety, and reputation. Getting a title higher on a “Popular and Upcoming” list and ensuring it has stellar ratings will incentivize audiences to purchase.

Unfortunately, indie game success isn’t formulaic, nor is it as certain as the attention big-budget titles receive. Regardless of budget and notoriety, however, there are specific steps fans can take to champion their favorite titles. Looking for your new obsession? Check out a few upcoming indies to add to your wishlist!

How To Hit The Ground Running With Your Game

Setting your video game up for success begins long before release day. Alongside the hours you’ve poured into its narrative development, game mechanics, and art style, you’ve considered your game’s audience and how you’ll reach them. How can you grow wishlist numbers and garner buzz across social media platforms for a digital release? For a physical release, how can you increase your first-week sales? While your game’s most rewarding marketing beats happen close to launch, there are steps you can take to grow your audience in advance.

Set Goals

Before committing to a plan, understand the benchmarks you’d like to reach with your game’s release. If it’s a PC launch, how many wishlists should you expect? Would you like to port it to consoles? Should you self-publish or work with a publisher? Answering these questions definitively is impossible; however, research will help guide your expectations. Find games similar to yours in size or style and observe their wishlist numbers, cross-compatibility, and social media presence. Your game may not reach Mario levels of success, but setting small goals for yourself will give you focus points to pursue alongside production.

Speak Up

As with most industries, networking can significantly impact your game’s sales. Journalism remains an influential subset of the video game industry, and landing a feature on these sites will prove fruitful for your download numbers. While journalist contact information is often published on the sites they write for, they maintain casual relationships on Twitter, where their interests are expressed more personally. It’s a good idea to follow journalists who cover your game’s genre; often, when notified a developer or studio has followed them, they will follow back. Getting onto the Twitter timeline of these journalists is essential for your game’s exposure and begins to build a connection with journalists interested in your work. In the future, they may cover your game on one of their sites, or your relationship may strengthen to the point of pitching your game to them personally. If you’re looking for in-person networking opportunities, attend a local gaming convention or festival. There, you’ll find developers, publishers, and journalists, all of whom attend to connect with other industry professionals.  

Be Present

The digital networking mentioned above is only as effective as your dedication to consistency. Posting about your game every couple of weeks–or only when there are new developments to share–lacks the momentum of a consistent social media presence. As you connect with relevant journalists and influencers, pepper your timeline with gameplay clips, development updates, character mock-ups, or story developments. As you build your social media presence, consider looking back on your development process for interesting changes or inspired moments that may have occurred. You’ll be left with ample social media content and a multi-faceted look at your game beyond the usual development updates. 

Team Up

Researching and setting goals, maintaining a consistent online presence, networking with other industry members, and managing your marketing content are challenging when added to the already strenuous game development task. If you find yourself without the time, consider partnering with a PR agency to ease the burden. An agency grants you access to a curated network of journalists and influencers, many of whom have strong relationships with PR agents. These teams can draft press announcements, connect with journalists, and schedule campaigns, leaving you to focus on what’s important. At Starfall, we understand that game development is unpredictable, and some months will be busier than others. We introduced several new PR packages –including a PR-Lite plan, as low as $500 per month–to maximize your time and investment.

Growing your game’s following should be a marathon, not a sprint. As you begin strategizing your marketing approach, set expectations for yourself that will keep you motivated and on target. Network with others in the industry to gain valuable exposure and insight, and remember, we’re here for your final push to publication.

How can a PR agency help my indie game?

You’re putting the finishing touches on a game you’ve worked tirelessly on for years. Between your game’s art style, narrative beats, mechanics, and replayability, you’re confident it will land well with your audience. The question is, however, where is your audience? How do you reach them? If you reach them, how do you convince them your game is worth buying over others? 

PR agencies specialize in individualized marketing campaigns, influencer coordination, project and event management, and anything else that will bring attention to your game. If you’re worrying over how to sell your game–and how to get it reviewed–then it’s time to consider partnering with a PR agency. 

Knowing what they can provide your brand is helpful when investing in a PR agency. 

Access to a network of journalists, influencers, and industry professionals

One of the most valuable promotional strategies is content creation. A feature on the homepage of a renowned tech journal or a viral clip of a popular streamer playing your game can launch it onto the charts overnight. Sponsorship opportunities are available for every budget, genre, and audience, although they can be time-consuming and difficult to land. PR agencies have spent years growing relationships with content creators and journalists to share their client’s work. Partnering with an agency means you’ll have access to these relationships and significantly increase the likelihood of your work getting seen. 

Trust the experts

Making a video game is difficult; marketing a video game can feel like another beast. While you dedicate hours to developing a game, it can be challenging to find time to promote it; where do you even start? Journalists and PR coordinators ask themselves the same question when it comes to creating a video game, which is why they turn to you, the developer, for the next great game. Developers are mechanics experts, so let an agency be the marketing experts. PR agencies create their brand around successful promotion, curating creative opportunists from diverse industries to bring fresh ideas to your game’s advertising. Agencies have access to an extensive network of professional contacts, paid-for databases to monitor press coverage, and in-depth knowledge of SEO and ASO to maximize viewership. They’ll take care of the business side so you can focus on your art. 

Take advantage of project and time management

Our recent blog discussed the value of video game events, conventions, and festivals as exciting opportunities to meet your players and receive real-time feedback. Organizing and staffing these events, however, is less compelling. Thankfully, PR agencies provide the project management expertise to prepare your game for these events. Securing a booth space, arranging tech rentals, and staffing your space are ways we help our clients tackle in-person opportunities. Of course, the developer’s presence is always appreciated; however, we’ll gladly take over if you find yourself without the time. Your dedication to your craft shouldn’t exclude you from unique opportunities to connect with your audience! 

Developing your own game is an accomplishment to be celebrated; it deserves to be shared with the awaiting audiences eager to explore your new world. You deserve to interact with these audiences, update your game and look forward to future projects, not stress over securing influencer sponsorships or a feature article. Consider partnering with a PR agency to take some of the work off your plate so you can focus on what matters. We’re here to help!

If you’re looking for help with your marketing strategy, email for more info.

(More) Ways to Market Your Indie!

Didn’t know about these? That’s okay, it’s what we’re here for!

Indie marketing guides are available everywhere on the internet.; rightly so, as they offer strategies for getting your game known. Effective video game marketing includes connecting with game journalists and content creators, social media promotion, and launching a demo of your game. There are, however, some less conventional marketing techniques, and if you find yourself looking to reach different audiences, it’s worth trying these. 


Podcasts categorize under social media; however, they are a less referenced medium. Compared to skimming an article or watching a short video, podcasts require significant time from listeners. However, the return value of podcasts is high. It will expose you to a new audience, and podcasts also grant you more time to talk about your game’s development process. Instead of a one-paragraph quote in a journal feature or a brief mention on social media, audio formats give you anywhere between five and forty-five minutes to pitch your game. Not only is it an effective marketing strategy for your game, but it’s a great way to build your personal brand.

Establishing a Personal Brand

On the topic of personal branding, this is as important as your professional brand. Consider a content creator or industry professional you admire; if they released a video game, book, or merchandise collab, would you be inclined to check it out? Of course, because you are already aware of their brand and are more likely to follow their pursuits. The same is true of your video game. Your game’s social media presence is important for exposure, however, your presence can draw in an audience that your game wouldn’t otherwise reach. People like knowing the face behind the content they’re consuming, and indie promotion is the perfect space for this strategy to work.

Independent Anthologies

Everyone wants their game to do well, and a great way to determine that is how many copies it sells on Steam. As an indie, it is important to get your game in as many hands as possible. Websites like itch.o can help with that. Indie anthologies are available on an application basis; users on the platform collect five to ten indie games to feature in an anthology that players can buy for a set price. Although the profit margins are lower than Steam, you’re getting more exposure to a new audience that will follow your other developments in the future. The goal is to create players that will come back to your studio for your next release! Managing these applications and opportunities can be stressful; thankfully we’re here to help!

Digital Indie Festivals

Conventions and events are a great way to market your indie and your studio, however, they can be pricey. Between purchasing travel, a space on the convention floor, and materials for your booth, the cost can add up quickly. Digital festivals and showcases, however, give you the exposure of a convention without the cost. Some of the largest include Steam Next Fest, Indie Live Expo, and Indie Cade, but we’ll help you find others. Events such as the Virtual Indie Booth are smaller, yet occur on a more routine basis and give your game significantly more screen time than some of their larger counterparts. You can show a game trailer or pitch your demo, whatever puts your game’s best foot forward!

Traditional marketing techniques have proven their effectiveness in increasing your game’s exposure. However, as the indie landscape changes, more opportunities to present your game become available. While it’s worth it to stick to the basics, give one or two of the above recommendations a try. You never know what these opportunities will bring. 

If you’re looking for help with your marketing strategy, email for more info.

Indie Developer’s Guide to Game Conventions

I made a video game! Now what?

Video games are a digital medium; it’s in the name. Your game may not survive without the internet, but Rome was not built with a keyboard and mouse, and neither should your audience! Though not as widespread as its digital counterparts, gaming festivals, and conventions offer unique opportunities for players and developers alike. While players use the chance to jump on the next best game, developers can earn valuable feedback from a live audience.

Preparing for a convention as an indie developer may seem intimidating, however, there are a few simple tasks to keep in mind that will guarantee a positive experience for you and your players.

Bring Something to Share

Obvious enough, but having a demo or early access copy of your game for player engagement is crucial. Convention attendees anticipate playable releases with the cost of admission, and catering to this should be your top priority. If your game’s not ready, don’t worry. You’ll find conventions throughout the entire year.

Do Your Research

Keeping track of convention information is important at every stage of preparation. For starters, identify conventions that you would like to present at, keeping in mind travel costs and attendance numbers. A handful of conventions offer discounted or free booths for indie developers which is a great place to start. Some events also have a designated section for indies that allow you to share space for a more cost-effective experience. If travel isn’t an option, there are several indie-exclusive online showcases throughout the year. Do your research before committing; a comprehensive list of conventions is available here.

Once your application is accepted and the date is set, anticipate how you’ll stage your booth. Large marketing graphics will draw attention to your table and free swag items will remind players of your game after the con. Ask your convention what they’ll provide–table, chairs, electrical, monitors, and wifi are essentials–and plan to bring the rest. If you’re traveling a long distance and cannot bring anything, find an electronics rental center near the convention and place your order in advance. Need assistance managing your convention calendar or staffing your booth? We’re happy to help!

Nail Your Brand

Most of your time at the convention will be spent pitching your game to attendees. Preparing a short, 1-2 sentence summary of your game’s genre and mechanics is enough, however, keep in mind the other diversifying aspects of your game. A fan of first-person shooters might shrug at an MMORPG, but your game’s anime art style might entice them to play.

Create an experience for players akin to a private gaming session. Consider accessibility features, such as printable guides that demonstrate the controls, made visible on every monitor for a smooth tutorial. If your game has a landing page or is listed on Steam, a QR code makes it easy to wishlist the title and follow your socials for future announcements. Conventions are valuable for feedback, especially if you’re in demo or early access development, so a Google form is a seamless way to collect targeted critiques for consideration in future updates.

Beyond your game’s brand, anticipate questions about your studio or your development process. Among the attendees may be journalists and PR representatives, so presenting your brand as a business may lead to new connections and opportunities. Remember that your voice makes you unique, so don’t feel the need to change your brand to appeal to someone else’s.

Admire Your Hard Work!

Tons of developers–ranging from one person to a fully staffed office–use conventions as a marketing strategy. You’ll meet other indie developers and see games at every step of the development process–from demo to early access and in full release. Remember that your work deserves to be shown, and there is an audience for it. Comparing your progress to others, or the amount of foot traffic among booths, is easy when you’re in a large convention space, but remember that your fans will find you.

Conventions are a fun marketing strategy, however, they come with a fair share of work. Especially for a small developer, preparing for a large-scale event can be daunting. But, proper planning, preparedness, and a strong sense of your brand are the three requirements for any convention. So, get out there, and I’ll see you on the con floor!

If you’re looking for help with your marketing strategy, email for more info.

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